Five-way tie for first triggers tiebreaker for CIC seeds

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Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 20, 2023

In the best regular season in Cook Inlet Conference baseball history, five teams finished tied atop the eight-team league at 5-2.

That’s never happened since the league expanded to eight teams in 2007.

The five-way tie triggered a tiebreaker of fewest runs between the tied teams to set up seeding for next week’s CIC Tournament.

Here is how that tiebreaker shook out:

Eagle River 12

South 14

Service 18

Chugiak 25

Dimond 29

That’s the order for the top five seeds, while West is sixth, Bartlett seventh and East eighth.

The four-day CIC Tournament begins Tuesday:

Tuesday, May 23
CIC Tournament First Round
5:00pm #7 Bartlett vs. #6 West
7:30pm #8 East vs. #5 Dimond
Wednesday, May 24
CIC Tournament Second Round
5:00pm East/Dim winner vs. #4 Chugiak
7:30pm Bar/West winner vs. #3 Service
Thursday, May 25
CIC Tournament Semifinals
5:00pm TBD vs. #2 South
7:30pm TBD vs. #1 Eagle River
Friday, May 26
CIC Tournament Third Place
5:00pm TBD vs. TBD
CIC Tournament Championship
7:30pm TBD vs. TBD

Here are recaps from Saturday's games:

Chugiak 6, Service 3

The Mustangs struck for four hits and three runs in the top of the ninth inning to double up the Cougars and create chaos in the CIC standings.

Tyler Cage scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and Hunter Rau's two-run single made a winner out of relief pitcher Jayden Steckel.

Steckel pitched the final 3.2 innings after starter Preston Rau went the first 5.1 innings. Together, they limited the Cougars to seven hits and combined for six scoreless frames.

Steckel gave Chugiak a 3-2 lead with a two-run double in the sixth inning that scored Gabe and Andrew Gruszynski.

Service tied it 3-3 in the bottom half on Andrew Hickman's RBI single that scored Sebastian Fournier, who had tripled. On that hit the Cougars had a runner chopped down at the plate.

Service gunned down a runner at the plate in the third inning in a defensive game that took two hours to play nine innings. It helped that several batters on both sides swung early in the count, especially on the first pitch.

Service took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Rilen Niclai, giving him eight RBIs in the last four games. The base knock scored his brother Coen, who slid around the tag on a close play at the plate.

Hunter Rau was 3-for-4, Owen Dockstader reached base three times with two singles and a walk, and Michael Boudreau went 2-for-3 and started the ninth inning rally with a leadoff single.

Rilen Niclai and Hickman each went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Cougars. Hickman also pitched 5.2 innings. Hunter Christian's two-out RBI single gave Service a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning.

South 7, West 3

Ben Neuberger carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the offense sputtered but still found success.

The Wolverines scored three runs on wild pitches, one on a balk and three more on groundballs.

Chase Mascelli banged out two of his team’s five hits and scored two runs. Kaden Bevegni walked, singled, scored two runs and had an RBI. He also pitched the seventh inning.

Neuberger struck out 10 batters and lost his no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth inning on a clean single by West’s Cyrus Clendaniel.

Neuberger looked untouchable through 5.2 innings but ran into trouble when he allowed four consecutive West batters to reach, with Savion Bishop’s two-run single blowing his shutout bid.

West’s Jude Doniere doubled in the other run.

Catcher Michael Tillman singled and threw out two runners on the bases.

Dimond 14, East 4

Gideon Lesslie and Michael Bretzke each had two hits and combined for five RBIs as for the Lynx.

Lesslie went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs and Bretzke was 2-for-3 with a double, walk, run and two RBIs. Peyton Montagna scored three runs and swiped four bags.

Anthony Mathiason, Drew Dittman and Shane Stephan combined for 11 strikeouts. Mathiason also went 2-for-2 with a run and RBI.

East's Andrew Malone reached base all three times on triple, single and walk with an RBI and run scored. Blake Yawitt had a base knock and two runs.

Eagle River 15, Bartlett 0

Connor Lanehart went 2-for-3 with a triple, three runs and two RBIs for the Wolves.

Lanehart has 21 RBIs on the season, ranking second in the CIC behind Service's Coen Niclai (22).

Alex Mullen went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and two RBIs. Kam Kurtz had a two-run double and Dallin Roberts had a sac fly and triple.